Lipoprotein lipase controls fatty acid entry into adipose tissue, but fat mass is preserved by endogenous synthesis in mice deficient in adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is the rate-limiting enzyme for the import of triglyceride-derived fatty acids by muscle, for utilization, and adipose tissue (AT), for storage. Relative ratios of LPL expression in these two tissues have therefore been suggested to determine body mass composition as well as play a role in the initiation and/or development of obesity. To test this, LPL knockout mice were mated to transgenics expressing LPL under the control of a muscle-specific promoter (MCK) to generate induced mutants with either relative (L2-MCK) or absolute AT LPL deficiency (L0-MCK). L0-MCK mice had normal weight gain and body mass composition. However, AT chemical composition indicated that LPL deficiency was compensated for by large increases in endogenous AT fatty acid synthesis. Histological analysis confirmed that such up-regulation of de novo fatty acid synthesis in L0-MCK mice could produce normal amounts of AT as early as 20 h after birth. To assess the role of AT LPL during times of profound weight gain, L0-MCK and L2-MCK genotypes were compared on the obese ob/ob background. ob/ob mice rendered deficient in AT LPL (L0-MCK-ob/ob) also demonstrated increased endogenous fatty acid synthesis but had diminished weight and fat mass. These findings reveal marked alterations in AT metabolism that occur during LPL deficiency and provide strong evidence for a role of AT LPL in one type of genetic obesity.